The authors consider a low-complexity technique for direct-sequence spread spectrum code acquisition. They present performance analysis in Rayleigh fading channels, and with carrier frequency offset in the receiver. They derive analytical expressions for acquisition probabilities, and use them to determine the mean and variance of the acquisition time. It is shown that acceptable performance can be achieved with significant reduction in hardware requirements, compared to conventional detectors. Simulations confirm the analytical results. Performance comparisons are presented under a range of scenarios including significant frequency offsets and fading channels.